Thune didn’t earn a single vote in the Jan. 22 straw poll of New Hampshire Republican activists.
McCain suggested there was plenty of time for Thune to improve his name recognition in New Hampshire and elsewhere. With a smile, he offered an oft-repeated line about one of Thune’s advantages. “If I looked like John Thune, I’d be president of the United States today,” McCain said of his 6-foot-4-inch, dark-haired colleague.
There’s little doubt that Thune’s appearance — New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote, “If you wanted a Republican with the same general body type and athletic grace as Barack Obama, you’d pick Thune” — could be a political asset, especially in a GOP field that Thune said is relatively similar on some levels.
“I think you’re going to have a lot of people who are sort of in the same place philosophically. They’re all going to be right-of-center conservatives, pretty conservative on economic, social and national security issues,” he said. “So I think a lot of whatever differences there [are] are going to be largely ... stylistic, and then I think it’s going to come down to electability.”
It’s unclear whether Thune thinks he has that electability. Look for an answer before the end of the month.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.